There seems to be a whole world of people out there that we never really get to know. These people live among and alongside us and we hear a lot about them. We encounter them almost daily and so do our friends; yet we seldom know their names. You log on to social media and a fair few of the topics seem to be moans about them. You stand in any pub long enough and someone will come in ready to vent their frustration at what these people have done. The readership figures for this paper, so the editor assures me, run well into the millions, but not one of us would consider ourselves to be part of the group. It’s not a small or particularly exclusive group, either. Membership is easily conferred, if not actively sought. In fact it’s most of us who decide who’s in – few nominate themselves.
So who are these people? Well, its members include the stupid, the inconsiderate, the rude, the noisy and those who can’t control their kids. In short, those who spoil things for the rest of us considerate, careful and well-mannered folk.
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. Most of us do accept when we make mistakes. It’s just that we’re more likely to tell people about our successes than our failures. It’s human nature. If pressed, though, we all could cite instances where it’s the other person’s reaction that has stopped us causing a problem or where we’ve been the pain in the neck. Or is that just me?
I did, however, omit one major group from my list of irritating so-and-sos. We all too often see evidence of their actions – or inaction. Yet I’ve not heard anyone confessing to being one of ‘them’. Who are they? They’re the litterbugs.
We all create litter. But everyone I know tries to avoid doing so. If we want to get rid of something, we put it in the bin. If there’s no bin, we keep hold of it until we find one. If we drop rubbish, we try to pick it up. None of us is perfect and sometimes we don’t realise that we’ve let something fall or some paper might blow away. It’s unfortunate, but that’s life.
My beef is with those sociopathic halfwits who just dump stuff wherever they happen to be standing. What is it with these knuckle-dragging morons? Why are they so happy to befoul our communal environment? What gives them the sense of entitlement that says that someone else will clear up their mess? It’s soul-destroying.
Take the recent Devizes Beer Festival. I would guess that the best part of 3,000 people were on site at some part of the day. The vast majority contributed to a great day and left no mess. The bins did get full so some people left bags of rubbish alongside. Fair enough. But when everyone had left, the site was covered in rubbish. Most of it was cans and bottles that were not supposed to be consumed on site. Thanks to those bozos, we’ll be much stricter next year. But there were even a couple of broken deck chairs just abandoned on the grass. What sort of thoughtless person does that? I have to say, after 15 years’ involvement with the festival, that’s about the closest I’ve come to just walking away. But a few decent people restored my faith in human nature by grabbing some bins and clearing it all up.
I guess that’s life. A few selfish idiots are happy to do whatever they want and stuff the rest of us. But in the end, the good and the considerate are prepared to clear up after them. And, when all’s said and done, that second group is still much larger than the first.